Oversharing is Caring

You'll never believe this, folks. The other day I discovered a new route to take to and home from work.  It involves taking a different road that doesn't get as clogged up and somehow times it just right that I hit all the green lights on the Fairfax County Parkway. I was so pleased with this discovery that I called my mom to tell her about it. And then pulled up Google Maps when I got home so that I could show Ian. And will probably be telling everyone at work about it over the next few days when people notice that I am now showing up at 8:57 instead of 9:04.  I'm telling you, this is big news.

What? No? Oh, I forgot. No one cares.

I've always been a believer that, as much as folks might smile and nod their head and even sound excited, no one really cares about your life as much as you do. 

In short, I've got an oversharing problem. 

But here's the thing: I hate when people overshare! I can't handle reading Facebook updates about a new mother's baby and it's every bowel movement. I used to get so irritated when I would hear people at work talking incessantly about their house buying process and pregnancy updates and, in general, grown up things that I feel like I shouldn't be worrying about yet. 

But then I remember that I'm a blogger and I overshare my life on a daily basis.

Example: I take phone portraits of myself in the car when I have a good hair day.

Or how about the house that I briefly mentioned the other day that Ian and I thought we were going to buy until the home inspection was horrendous? Yep, had already told everyone we were basically homeowners. I sent everyone the link, photos I took on my phone, and had started planning the house warming party and telling people they were invited. Whoops. 

Lessons learned: I'm not telling anyone about any more house plans. It's boring to anyone not involved in the process anyway. I probably shouldn't post my embarrassing car self portraits to any public forum (but come on! Those curls were perfect!). Before I tell a story, I will ask myself "Will this be interesting? Am I going to embarrass myself by telling this story?" 

But I will say that sometimes oversharing is caring. Like telling people that eating Fiber One bars will cause the worst gas of your life (even worse than kale). I'm just looking at for you, friends. 


Monday Marriage Musings

Now that I have been married for a year, two months, and fourteen days, I am officially qualified to spew out unsolicited marriage advice.

Meagan Jepson Photography

HA! Just kidding. I hate unsolicited marriage advice. That is, I hate it coming from people who are no more qualified to teach a marriage seminar than I am to run a restaurant. Sure, I've had a little bit of experience, but not enough to confidently share my wisdom with other folks. Pretty much I think the only people really qualified to give me advice on my nuptials is elderly people who have been married for 50+ years. Well, and our parents. Because they're awesome.

However, before you go telling everyone that Brenda and Ian have a perfect marriage and don't need any advice, allow me to clarify. There is a HUGE difference between 'advice' and having people to share your experiences with. Finding other friends who are married when we moved to Virginia has been the best thing that could happen to us as we navigated the first year of marriage and beyond. There is something great about having girlfriends to hang out with who are also figuring out what it means to live with your best friend who you love with all your heart but can drive you crazy when you need some alone time. It's comforting to know that your marriage isn't doomed if sometimes you don't really talk when you eat dinner, or worse, if you eat dinner in front of the TV. Having someone who understands that a strong drink is just what you need after a failed home inspection of the house you thought for sure you were going to buy.

I love having people in my life who are going through the same things that Ian and I are, but at the end of the day, if there is any unsolicited advice you were looking to take away from this post, the most important thing I think I have finally learned to do is to let go of any marriage expectations that I develop from reading blogs, watching movies, and hearing my friends talk. I've learned to just do whatever feels right, and if doesn't feel right, have a meltdown and try something else. 

Example: maybe we should have gone to church on Sunday, but instead we decided to take advantage of the crisp Fall morning with a walk around the lake. And then, when it got too hot, tied our sweatshirts around our waists. It just felt right.


Big News!

After months of wavering motivation/confidence, I have opened up The Funky Junkie Shoppe on Etsy!

This is a new chapter in the life of myself and the blog, and I hope that you'll take some time to take a look at my floral accessories for thrifty gals.
I am new to all of this so I plan to figure it out as I go as well as to gain inspiration for all the ladies who have been running successful Etsy businesses. I would love to hear your advice!

That's all for today.



An Uplifting Post About Technology

Technology is frustrating. I think we can all agree, right? And it always seems to poop out at the worst times.

Take this week, for example. Whether it's computers running slow at work, trying to catch up with my mom on the phone while the call drops every three minutes, or, I don't know, not having internet at our apartment for the past three days, I'm starting to feel like I want to just turn everything off and be Amish. Except not really.

So that's why we are spending our Friday night at Caribou Coffee getting our internet fix.

Guess what? Instagram wouldn't let me load!

This has also been the week that I have finally been gaining momentum with a project that I've been slowly working on for months and would LOVE to get off the ground, but haven't been able to as much as I would have liked. (If you follow me on Instagram - brenthefunkyjunkie - you know what I am talking about!

All this is to say, I hate technology. But it would be hard to be a blogger without it.

So happy Friday!


A Wise Investment

This is a story about investing in your future.

And I'm not talking about stocks. Or mutual funds. That's for husbands to do.

I bought this leather jacket at Unique in July on a hot, humid, rainy weekend. I was far from chilly while I was shopping, but no matter the season, I always make sure I peruse the jackets and blazers at the thrift shop. In my humble thrifty opinion, those are the BEST items to thrift. You can find unique pieces and excellent quality for an unbeatable price, and when the time comes to actually wear them, you have a closet full of too many jackets to choose from. In conclusion, pay a little more in July to reap your benefits in September!

As I was scanning the aisles of things I don't need, the leather poking out of the sea of tweed and polyester caught my eye. When I picked it up I fell in love with this jacket: the color, the somewhat puffy sleeves, and when I tried it on, it fit like a glove. Obviously it was meant to be. At $25.00, it was a little bit of a splurge for me (yes, $25.00 is a splurge. When you're not used to seeing price tags for over $10, these things are shocking) but I just couldn't put it down. I mean, 25 bucks for a leather jacket? Can't beat that.

Since July, I have been just WAITING for the temperature to finally dip below 70 degrees so that I could step outside on a crisp Fall morning ready to show this baby off to the world. The coat is what I believe to be a vintage Berman's leather jacket. After the little bit of internet research I've done, Berman's was founded in 1899 and was aquired by Wilson's Leather in 1988. Not quite Italian leather or the most prestigious of brands (more like 1980's American shopping mall) and I have seen Berman jackets go for as low as $9.99 on Ebay, but also as high as $150.00, likely depending on the age, quality, and style. 

Who knows if I might have overpayed for this a bit, but as long as it makes you feel good, right? I would love to know if anyone has had experience with this brand!

In other news, along with crisp Fall days and leather jackets come perfect weather for breaking out the Chi and frying my hair to a straight, sleek crisp! Happy days are here again!


Thrift Stores and Shopping and Tornados, Oh My!

You know that feeling on a Monday after you just had a really awesome weekend, and you're sorta depressed but not really because it's finally a beautiful Fall day, you might be able to straighten your hair today, and overall you just feel very blessed?

My parents, the recent empty nesters as my little sister began her college years last week, spent last week on vacation traveling around to some of their favorite local spots up in PA, and ended the week with a visit down to Nova to see us. And they came bearing whoopie pies. I knew it was going to be a great weekend.

After dinner and drinks at Sweetwater Tavern on Friday night, they accompanied us on a morning of house hunting on Saturday followed by a trip to Middleburg, VA. I had briefly been to Middleburg on a wine outing several months ago but since it was a Sunday evening most of the shops were closed. I knew that my parents would love the charming little town and I myself wanted to check out some of the adorable shops.

The verdict: I love Middleburg! It's amazing that in less than an hour in one direction you can be in the heart of DC, but an hour in the other direction takes you through quaint towns sprinkled with antique and thrift shops

The sky started to get dark with the pending thunderstorm coming our way, so we ducked into Julien's Cafe, an adorable little eatery serving French inspired cuisine. Complete with French fries.

Next thing we knew, it was dark as night outside, the lights started flickering, and my phone started blaring that God-awful emergency beeping noise you heard on the radio when there is severe weather in the area, letting us know that a tornado had been spotted in the area. It was starting to look like the Wizard of Oz outside, with leaves and branches swirling around and rain pelting down on the car. 

So we figured it was best that we get in the car and drive to the mall, where we'd be safe.



Uncovering the Story

One of my favorite things to do after a successful trip at the thrift store is to Google the crap out of the stuff I bought to try and find some kind of retail value for my finds. This can be tricky as most of the stuff you find at a thrift store is outdated and several seasons old, so finding these items outside of Ebay can be a task. In fact, I rarely even find the exact item, but it sometimes helps to get an idea of the brand and quality to judge whether or not you got a good deal.

In yesterday's post, I mentioned a fantastic deal I got on a purse at Wears Like New Consignment in Hershey, PA over the weekend. I was perusing the racks and saw this brown and tan La Tour Eiffel messenger bag laying in the clearance basket marked down to $2.00. I had been searching for another cross body bag to add to my collection, and there was something that drew me to this bag's simple color and design.

I had never heard of this brand before, but at two bucks who cares if it came from Walmart? 

I did some quick searching on phone on the way to the next shopping stop, and judging by my initial search, it seemed that this is actually a pretty high-end brand. Although I couldn't find the exact model of this bag, I was finding similar leather bags selling for between $75.00 to as high as $250.00. WOAH!

I did a little more research when I got home and I couldn't believe what I saw. Even though I wasn't able to find the exact same bag, I found some that were pretty similar...

However, I also saw this:

Which brings me to my next question: is the bag leather or vinyl? I think it smells like leather and feels like leather, but I am no expert on the subject. 

I also thought of the possibility of the bag being a fake, but after a little digging I wasn't able to find anything on this particular brand being known for counterfeits. While they seem to draw inspiration from Louis Vuitton and other high-end designers, this isn't a brand that is big in the black market for fakes. The bag itself is very sturdy, the stitches are all in place, and overall it just looks legit. At the end of the day, whether it's worth $14.00 or $140.00, I paid $2.00. Which is brag-worthy by itself.

Does anyone else like to research their thrift store finds when they get home? If so, what are some of your techniques? Are there any websites out there specifically dedicated to this? 

Also, tell me about the greatest deal you have ever found in thrift/consignment shop!

**You might noticed I changed the format of my comments. I finally figured out how to respond to comments in the post (I know, Blogging 101) and got rid of the spam filter because I noticed that some of my comments from beloved readers were being marked as spam. So fire away!



I hope this title caught you off guard!

I also hope that everyone had a fantastic Labor Day weekend! Ian and I traveled home for a long weekend in PA, and I must say that after several days spent with the family, old friends, a day outlet shopping in Chocolate Town USA (aka, Hershey PA) and stumbling across a kick-ass consignment shop was just the mini-vacation I needed.

So about the blog post title. No, my new job has not driven me to smoke. I'm talking about cigarette PANTS, an item that I have been longing for for months and months. After my previous post lamenting about boxy dress pants, cigarette pants are the perfect cross between classy and casual, perfect for hot summer days when you want to show a wee bit of ankle (SCANDALOUS!) and still look pulled together. 

When I walked into the Gap Outlet, I wasn't expecting to have much luck as I never seem to do at outlets, but I was drawn to a rack of 50% black tapered pants. And they are absolutely perfect! 

 I was also lucky to score some new tops at the Ann Taylor Loft outlet, another store I have always loved from afar, but never took the plunge with any pricey purchases. This particular top was actually a hand me down from my mom, but I also scored a similarly cute tank top for only $9.99. 

 You might also notice a new bag--this was a steal at $2.00 from Wears Like New, the consignment shop we stopped in. Yes, you read that right--$2.00. Stay tuned for some more info on this bag this week. 

Anyone else score some sweet Labor Day deals?

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